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Who was Laika the Space Dog?
Laika was a Soviet space dog who became one of the first animals to orbit the Earth. Laika’s historic mission took place on November 3, 1957, aboard the spacecraft Sputnik 2. The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2 as part of its space program during the early years of the space race.
Laika, a stray dog found on the streets of Moscow, was selected for the mission. She was a female dog, part terrier, and part Siberian Husky. Laika was chosen because of her small size, calm temperament, and ability to endure the rigors of space travel.
Unfortunately, the technology to safely return living organisms from orbit had not yet been developed, and it was known from the outset that Laika’s mission was one-way. Tragically, Laika did not survive the mission. She died a few hours after the launch due to a combination of stress and overheating.
Laika’s sacrifice was a significant milestone in the early days of space exploration, demonstrating that living organisms could be sent into space and orbit the Earth. While her mission sparked controversy and concerns about animal welfare, it paved the way for future human spaceflight endeavors. Laika is remembered as a pioneering figure in the history of space exploration.